chapter 5

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Chapter 5 focused on the consciousness of the human brain. The first half of the chapter discusses sleeping and dreams. First they describe the different stages of sleep (stage1o stage 5, from light sleeping to rapid eye movement). There is a long part where they try to give us information about what dreams mean and how people experience them. In my opinion one of the most interesting parts in this section was about lucid dreaming. A lucid dream is when you are dreaming and you recognize you are in a dream. The cool part about it is that once you come to that realization you can do anything you put your mind to in that dream. I personally have had lucid dreams before and the experience is like no other. Where most of my dreams are blurry these ones are vivid with extreme detail and a sense of realness to them. Someone can train themselves to have lucid dreams by repetitively doing a simple action like flicking your bedroom light switch a few times before going to bed. If you flick a light switch in a dream most of the time the lights won't turn on (at least not right away) and you might be able to realize that you are in a dream. However when most people experience a lucid dream for their first time they may wake up right after they realize they are in a dream because their mind gets startled. One of the benefits of being able to have lucid dreams is that you can change the outcome of a bad dream and have less nightmares.

This chapter also dedicates a section to drugs and consciousness. They describe the different effects depressants, stimulants, opiates, and psychedelics have on the brain. A misconception that most people have is that a drug can be addictive and dangerous only if it is illegal. But that fact is that even legal drugs such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and pain killers can be destructive and addicting if not taken with care. Also we have all heard that there are families that are more prone to developing issues like alcoholism because of genetic traits. But What I hadn't really thought about is that there are families that have very low chances of having addictive problems. For example 40% of people of Asian decent have a genetic mutation called aldehyde 2 which, if alcohol is consumed causes red flushing in the face, nausea, and a faster paced heart beat. While it may be hard to systematically prove that culture can have a direct effect on genetic mutation, most of the observations seem to hint that it does


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I find this very interesting, I myself have never had a case of lucid dreaming but I know people that have. never knew that someone can actually train themselves to have lucid dreaming with something as easy as flicking a light switch before they go to bed. In respects to your comment that once you enter lucid dreaming you can do anything you put your mind to, I wonder if that is really true.

The drug and consciousness information that you pointed out makes a very good point I have seen many people that don't consider any of the legal drugs that you stated to be drugs at all. I also wonder much like how people tried to only have certain genes move into future generations if this could be done to make it so that people cant get addicted to drugs in the future.

i have had instances where i dreamed lucidly, but in general i do not think i have had much control over the directions my dreams take. usually i'm just put into a scenario relevant to my every day life, with a controversial twist. i someday hope to dream more lucidly though!

drug education is definitely pretty screwed up in the US. instead of spending time badmouthing those that are illegal, drug education should also cover the consequences of legal ones as well.

I find your post to be a great summary of the chapter. One thing that I took away from this chapter was the part about drugs. You even said it in your post, legal drugs are way too often dangerous. I think that as our society moves forwards we need to become less reliant on drugs (including caffine for those who love a morning pot of coffee). We should pass laws to regulate drug use of all kinds, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.

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This page contains a single entry by ndayi004 published on February 2, 2012 5:56 AM.

Blog #1 Psychological Disorders- Have We Really Come All That Far? was the previous entry in this blog.

Chapter 1 "psychology and Scientific thinking" is the next entry in this blog.

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